Businesses fully on board at the Boardwalk

Mercia Marina has exceeded all expectations by filling all available units at its new £1.7m Boardwalk shopping, pub and office development before Christmas.

The announcement comes just two months after the 74-acre marina celebrated The Boardwalk’s Grand Opening Weekend in October.

At the launch, businesses included The Boardwalk bar and restaurant, women’s fashion store Blue Water, Molly & Co accessories store, Elegant Touch Beauty and The Butcher Baker farm shop.

These have since been joined by furniture and gift shop Zing Furniture and Annie & George, which sells children’s clothing and giftware.

One of the marina’s most significant coups was to attract a single business, pharmaceutical firm Bionical, to lease the entire upper floor office space, which was originally envisaged for up to four small businesses.

Robert Neff, general manager of Mercia Marina, said: “We’ve achieved our aim of leasing all units at The Boardwalk much more quickly than we ever imagined.

“It’s always difficult to determine how successful a new commercial development will be in its early days, particularly when many are still apprehensive about the economy. But the fantastic location we have here has clearly played its part – and we’re delighted to have filled the units in such a short time.

“There is also much relief that we’ve proved so attractive to such a fabulous range of quality businesses.”

Mr Neff said that the next goal was to find businesses to take on several available “floating” businesses.

The marina was granted permission to offer up to six commercial moorings, where businesses trade from boats moored adjacent to The Boardwalk.

The Ideal Hamper Company is already trading from one of these moorings, and The Mug Tug – which invites “children aged from 0 to 100 years” to paint ceramics – is booked to set up stall soon. An estate agent is also in negotiations to launch a floating business on the site, leaving at least three moorings still available for rent.

Mr Neff said: “We’d love to see a full house by next spring, and would love to hear from any business that wants to do something that little bit different. The Boardwalk as a whole has been a huge success so far, and we’d be delighted to welcome more businesses on board, as it were.”